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Yellowstone opens lottery for Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program

Bay Stephens




MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – Yellowstone National Park is now accepting applications to the 2017-2018 winter season lottery for permits to snowmobile in the park without the presence of a commercial guide. The park requires all non-commercially guided snowmobile groups that enter the park to have a permit.

Those wishing to snowmobile without a commercial guide can apply through through Sept. 30. Successful lottery applicants will be notified in mid-October.

The park will make any remaining or cancelled permits available on a first-come, first-served basis through the same application web page beginning Nov. 3. There is no waiting list. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so check the website often for openings. Trips can be a maximum of three days in length, and permits cost $40 per day with a $6 application fee.

Permit holders are considered non-commercial guides and must be at least 18 years old on the first day of their trips. All snowmobile operators must possess a state-issued driver’s license and successfully complete the free online Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification program. Anyone can take the course to learn more about park rules that help visitors safely enjoy the unique experience of winter in Yellowstone while also protecting park resources.

The Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program was authorized in the 2013 final Winter Use Rule. The program allows one non-commercially guided group of up to five snowmobiles to enter Yellowstone from each of its four winter entrances per day. All snowmobiles must meet the park’s New Best Available Technology standard, which is explained on the website.

Check the park website for details regarding the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, or contact the program coordinator, Ivan Kowski, at or (307) 344-2165. 

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